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eG Foodblog: CaliPoutine, MarketStEl & mizducky - The Shrinking

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#61 Tess

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 08:58 AM

Sandy, thanks for trying the Life cereal so I don't have to! (I'm always eyeing those nostalgia products in the store, but if they make it home with me they generally disappoint.)

Great blog! mizducky, you've always been an inspiration to me, healthy eating-wise.

About shiritaki: I agree, the version with tofu seems much more friendly to a western palate. I still generally use it in preparations that don't mock Western ones-- I wouldn' tbother making Afredo type dishes with it for instance, or dishes with tomato sauce. To me, it goes really well with seafood like shrimp or clams, and something salty, like soy sauce. I like to toss it in a frying pan with a small amount of sauce until it gets a little crispy.

#62 MarketStEl

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:03 AM

So why are folks "walking into town" at lunchtime? (The Borough of Yardley being about three square miles, and as Activant's Yardley office lies at the south edge of the town center, roughly midway [and spanning about one-third of the distance end to end] between the central intersection and the Yardley train station (a 15- to 20-minute walk in total), "walking into town" isn't as big a deal as it sounds.)

Because today's forecast high is in the upper 60s, a few degrees warmer than yesterday; the high in Philadelphia could flirt with the record high for this day of 69 F, set in the 1930s. It will be a few degrees cooler up here in bucolic Bucks County.

The office where I work is a handsome, low-slung, rustic structure, built in 1902 to house a tannery and completely rebuilt on the inside when what was then known as Prophet 21 Inc. bought the building in the early 1980s:

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It sits halfway up a fairly steep hill from Yardley's Main Street and thus well above the 100-year flood line. There have been three 100-year floods on this stretch of the Delaware in the last ten years or so.

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The hill:

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If I take "the long way" to my office at the building's south end, as I did Monday so I could take this picture of the main entrance at its north end, I feel a little like Maxwell Smart as I walk down the central corridor that runs the length of the building:

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My cubicle is sparsely decorated for now, but even without the nameplate (which was installed yesterday morning), you would probably recognize it as mine:

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(When I hung the "Subway Series" poster at the back of the first photo of this troika in my cubicle, our graphic designer, who is a huge New York sports fan, asked whether I was a fan of the Yankees or the Mets. "No," I told him. "I'm a fan of the subway." [Besides, as a loyal Royal still, I could never warm up to the Yankees.] I also take my penchant for trivia on the road, as the newspaper clipping on the bulletin board should make clear.)

My boss, whose cubicle is directly opposite mine:

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is also given to posting favorite quotes; mine change daily, hers weekly. We both share this sentiment:

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BTW, she knows I'm blogging. She also plans to attend the next PGMC concert -- and has seen this photo of me in a tutu from the 2006 holiday concert.

I wouldn't call this company a dieter's disaster; on the contrary, it's probably easier to follow a diet here than it would be at many other companies, for it has no company cafeteria. There is a dining hall about midway down in the rear that has an array of vending machines with sodas, juices, water, ice cream,pre-packaged sandwiches, and cans of nukeable foods, and that's it. As a result, there are a large number of brown-baggers working here, as these shots of the two fridges in my area should demonstrate.

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There are two more fridges in the dining room and two each in the upper and lower segments of the main building. (My department is in a two-story wing that is attached to the rear of the main building's south end.)

Now for the hydration part -- or, rather, the dehydration part. This company is powered by caffeine.

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It's not at all uncommon for me to walk into the kitchenette at 2:30 in the afternoon and see two fresh pots of coffee on the burners, though by that time of day, it's usually one regular, one decaf. A co-worker has already commented on my prodigious coffee consumption. I think I need to pick up a six-pack of V8 on my next grocery shopping trip.

Now, would the stash I keep in one of my drawers make me a sinner?

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Well, maybe the Hamburger Helper Singles packet -- a free sample I received in the mail back around June -- would, but I think the rest of my snack/condiment repertoire passes the virtue test. But there is temptation nearby. In the cubicle next to mine, which the second of the two less seasoned writers I replaced vacated at the end of my first week on the job, are all sorts of treats left over from the Christmas presents our business partners and suppliers left us.

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Unfortunately, you missed the most spectacular of them, a construction called "the mountain of chocolate" -- cookies, popcorn, pretzels and candies, all stacked in a heap and covered in chocolate (some milk, some dark). I managed to scarf down my share of the goodies in this mountain without much damage to my weight. A late-night snack, OTOH, went to my gut.

Other recurring temptations offered at this office are soft pretzels every Thursday morning and bagels with butter and cream cheese every payday (alternate Fridays). The pretzels are a quarter on the honor system; the bagels are on the house.

I've been told that there is a company cook-out on the big lawn in front of the building (there's a volleyball net permanently strung up near its south end) every summer, and that T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops are common office garb in the warmer months (what would you expect at a high-tech company? I doubt I'll ever go that far down the casual-dress scale).

I guess I should share with you all what I actually ate yesterday. That's coming up next.
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
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#63 MarketStEl

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:12 AM

Sandy, thanks for trying the Life cereal so I don't have to! (I'm always eyeing those nostalgia products in the store, but if they make it home with me they generally disappoint.)

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Actually, Life cereal -- which I liked as a kid and still do -- didn't disappoint at all.

But it is paradoxical in being a good-for-you food that's bad for you.

Good for you because it's made from oats and is high in soluble fiber, almost like oatmeal.

Bad for you because it's got added sugar.

Before I join in the online new employee orientation, could I ask a site manager to delete the duplicate and triplicate posts I just made? For some reason, my browser is having a hard time communicating with the eG site today, and I got no indication that my post commands were successful.

More on Monday in a little bit.
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"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen
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#64 jsmith

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:25 AM

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Great blogs so far, I just wanted to add how much I love the toothpick in the blackberries. It screams "love" like only the little things can.

#65 mizducky

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 12:01 PM

Good morning! I've got a computer lesson with Mr. E. in less that 15 minutes (I tutor him in basic computer skills twice a week), but let me see if I can catch up on a few comments ...

In fact, as I get older, it's becoming clear that, for me, there is one critical (and difficult) element without which there will be very little lasting weight loss, and it is...building muscle. There, I said it. Now I'm going to go try and live it...my first gym visit of 2008 is hopefully in my very near future, if I can just leave my cozy apartment and get outside. Oh, and keeping yourself hydrated. Do that too.

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Oh yeah ... there is a lot of recent, and better, weight loss punditry that points out that the more muscle mass you have, the more revved your baseline metabolism gets, because muscle tissue burns up a good bunch of energy just in maintaining itself (it's also constantly active--even when you're just sitting there, after all, muscle is holding your body upright and in balance). So in addition to aerobic exercise, many instructors are now making sure their weight loss clients are pumping at least a little iron. It doesn't take much--those little hand weights or elastic bands are certainly enough for many of us ... so why is the danged elastic band my Kaiser Permanente instructor gave me mouldering in a basket four feet from where I am now sitting? :biggrin: Because I need to get on with that part of the program too!

Oops! Just turned 11am here--back later!

#66 Kouign Aman

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 12:15 PM

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Hey! I have that poster! Its my souvenir of a walking and eating trip 'round San Francisco - we stopped and bought a dark-chocolate dipped candied apricot in every candy store we saw. 13 of 'em total, in one day. LOTS of walking! The actual goal was to locate a poster shop that had that specific print, without dealing with city traffic and parking. The candy was a bonus. I remember it better than I remember the sights.

What's the playdoh for? Salt-fixes?

Sandy, is there any possibility of biking partway to work, or home? Is there an interim station where you could load and offload a bike, or store it during the day?
30 hilly miles sounds like work!

Edited by Kouign Aman, 08 January 2008 - 12:15 PM.

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#67 MarketStEl

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 12:57 PM

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Hey! I have that poster! Its my souvenir of a walking and eating trip 'round San Francisco - we stopped and bought a dark-chocolate dipped candied apricot in every candy store we saw. 13 of 'em total, in one day. LOTS of walking! The actual goal was to locate a poster shop that had that specific print, without dealing with city traffic and parking. The candy was a bonus. I remember it better than I remember the sights.


I bought mine at the gift shop at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge when I visited San Francisco, Seattle, Sean (my brother) and Estella Rose (my niece; these last two live in Woodinville, outside Seattle) last April.

It's true: The fog really does burn off at noon. Well, that particular Saturday, it was 2 pm.

What's the playdoh for? Salt-fixes?


A bit of Christmastime fun. My boss also distributed some puzzles and holiday doggerel on the last workday before Christmas.

If I'm jonesin' for salt, I'll get a bag of chips from the vending machine or walk up to the Wawa.

Sandy, is there any possibility of biking partway to work, or home? Is there an interim station where you could load and offload a bike, or store it during the day?
30 hilly miles sounds like work!

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Actually, there is a place where I could keep a bike and take it partway to work with me.

It's called "my apartment building."

SEPTA permits bicycles on all off-peak Regional Rail trains. One seat at the end of each car has been removed, and bicyclists use that area for their bikes. Peak trains are those that arrive in Center City Philadelphia between 6 and 9:30 AM and depart it between 3:30 and 6:30 PM. My journey is in the opposite direction, so I could take a bike with me on SEPTA.

While it won't do much for my muscle mass, I should consider getting one. It just so happens that there's an excellent biking/hiking trail just a stone's throw from my office. Pictures of it forthcoming.

Edited to fix tag error.

Edited by MarketStEl, 08 January 2008 - 12:58 PM.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
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#68 MarketStEl

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 01:23 PM

I should also note that in addition to the snacks, I stashed this in my desk drawer, knowing this was coming up:

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This ad from the center spread of the Dec. 31 Metro contains tales of four Weight Watchers success stories.

I'm somewhat ambivalent about programs like this for several reasons:

1) While the Alcoholics Anonymous model has been proven to work and is highly effective for many, I've always been a keep-my-own-counsel sort when it comes to taking action of this type. I'll listen to advice from lots of sources, sure, and even act on some of it, but ultimately I want the decision to be mine. I went sober for 18 months without ever setting foot in an AA meeting. I might benefit from the group support, but I don't think I need it yet, and my current experience in the Landmark Forum has shown me anew both the strengths and the dangers of group improvement programs (though I suspect that some of the occupational hazards of Landmark are unique to it).

2) This ambivalence goes beyond Weight Watchers and AA-style programs per se: I don't really want to give up the foods I enjoy, and I enjoy a lot of them. Most diet programs usually call for you to give up or severely restrict your intake of some substance or another, and I think that may be part of the reason why most of them fail: in addition to the influence of our Lizard Brains, there is the similar psychological issue of the effects of deprivation. I will grant that with its point system, Weight Watchers doesn't so much put foods off limits as it does cause you to make conscious tradeoffs: Is this cheese cube worth forswearing a burger later? Can I make an ice cream cone up in salads tomorrow? As such, I suspect it's easier to stick to WW than many other diets, but I'm not at the point where I'm ready to try yet.

3) I'm not even sure I need to, for even though I am overweight and have a noticeable gut, I'm otherwise in good health. My blood pressure went from borderline high to normal after I went sober, and as I don't drink every day even now, it hasn't climbed back up from normal since I resumed drinking. My total cholesterol is high, but my bad cholesterol and triglycerides are low while my good cholesterol is high; given that there is no history of heart disease in my family, my doctor does not think it necessary for me to take either extraordinary measures or statins to reduce it. As I said before, my interest in losing weight is mainly one of physical fitness and physical appearance -- but as a gay man, those are often reasons enough for more intense steps than I have taken so far. I'm hoping Ellen will go into some detail about how her years as a Fat-Is-A-Feminist-Issue activist enabled her to escape the tyranny of appearance (and maybe touch on the differences between gay men and lesbians in this regard, for there are some; it strikes me that in gay America, the gender roles are reversed when it comes to primping, preening and doing all those things intended to make one more beautiful as conventionally defined).

Speaking of "beautiful as conventionally defined," the Bette Midler song I quoted on the whiteboard in one of my earlier posts today speaks directly to this topic and is one of my favorites. Maybe I could get rid of the gut, but so what if I don't? "I'm beautiful, dammit!" Or:

Don't just pussyfoot around and sit on your assets.
Unleash your ferocity on an unsuspecting world!


--from the same song

Edited to add footnote: I note that the long-running Weight Watchers topic on this forum went dormant in mid-December. Have people run out of interesting things to eat and yet still lose weight?

Edited by MarketStEl, 08 January 2008 - 01:28 PM.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
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My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

#69 Tess

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:02 PM

Edited to add footnote: I note that the long-running Weight Watchers topic on this forum went dormant in mid-December.  Have people run out of interesting things to eat and yet still lose weight?

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As a frequent contributor, I hope not! Although there's so much good stuff there already, it's a little intimidating to think of trying to add something new.

#70 MarketStEl

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:04 PM

What makes a lot of people I've told this to really crazy is that I refuse to eat "fake" foods. For me that means, lowfat mayo or sour cream, or margerine instead of butter, or fat free cheese (which is truly an abomination IMHO). For both monetary and taste reasons, I prefer to cook pretty much the majority of what I eat. I'll eat out at a good restaurant every now and then (I'd like to do more of that really in 2008) and in other people's homes, and yes I'll have the occasional candy bar or potato chips, but I try not to do that very often. Essentially, during the weight loss (I still have a lot more weight to lose, about another 40 pounds or so) I ate whatever the Hell I wanted just way less of it and it was a slow, steady dropping of the pounds as well as 4 clothing sizes.

Our office building just revamped/expanded the gym, use of the facilities is free for all building occupants, so I'll be starting an exercise program soon.  I look forward to following everyone's adventure in getting healthier in 2008.

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I think your approach is about as sensible as it gets. Taking it off is more difficult than putting it on, and even though it may seem like we did, we didn't put it all on overnight. Taking it off overnight is equally unrealistic, and I suspect also that gradual weight loss is more lasting weight loss.

This gives me a good opportunity to segue into yesterday's dinner -- you all saw the salad I had for lunch when I posted my morning shots; the only thing you did not see was the homemade dressing I put on it:

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This concoction is one part rice vinegar, one part kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), one part extra virgin olive oil, some tarragon, basil, and black pepper, and a dash of sriracha. Interesting, no?

Anyway, last night's dinner would probably have cost me a few Weight Watchers points, or maybe not. I put the roaster into a George Foreman contact roaster that was left in my care by a friend; it was too big to fit at first but cooked into it as the juices dripped out:

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Before I put the chicken in the roaster, I sprinkled paprika over the outside liberally and put about a teaspoon and a half of rosemary and four lemon slices in the inside cavity.

Next I peeled seven potatoes and boiled them for mashed potatoes. (Hmmmmm. Looks like the photo of the potatoes didn't upload properly.)

Actually, they were whipped potatoes, not mashed potatoes, for what I did when they were soft was rice them:
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then add liquid. I had set aside butter and milk for this purpose (that photo didn't load either; I may upload and revise this post tonight), but ended up not using the milk. My one concession to reduced fat was to use the water the potatoes were cooked in instead of milk, but I still put in butter, plus black pepper and Old Bay. The reason I used Old Bay instead of salt is because my roomate has Type 1 diabetes and has suffered renal failure; as a result, he must limit or avoid a host of foods containing some common minerals.

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This does cause some problems for me, for vegetables are about the only thing that I find I can eat without incorporating some seasoning into the dish before cooking it. It also limits my ability to serve foods containing tomatoes or tomato sauce, and I used to prepare a lot of tomato-based dishes. I welcome any and all recipes that offer big flavor while avoiding those no-no substances.

These, BTW, were the veggies I served:

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These steam-in-the-bag frozen veggies are convenient, no doubt about it, and they don't come with a bonus serving of guilt.

As the chicken was nearing done and the veggies were steaming, I made gravy from the chicken drippings. As I was sprinting towards the finish, I didn't separate the fat from the rest of the drippings, so it floated to the top in the finished product:

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which, despite its appearance here, got perfectly smooth about a minute afterwards. I generally do well making gravies. I did note, however, that the gravy had a hint of sourness that I wasn't expecting; it wasn't until later that night that I realized that taste came from the lemon.

Sorry, but I didn't get a shot of everything on the plate. I suspect someone would need that to factor in the points, but maybe if I gave you approximate amounts, someone could score it for me?

1 chicken leg quarter
3/4 cup whipped potatoes (made from 7 potatoes, 4 tablespooons butter and 1/2 cup potato water, seasoned liberally with black pepper and Old Bay)
1/3 cup mixed vegetables
About 4 tablespoons gravy (2 tablespoons each chicken fat and cornstarch, 3/4 cup chicken drippings, unseparated, enough water to make 1 cup gravy, a dash of salt and ground black pepper)
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
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#71 mizducky

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:09 PM

Okay, I'm back--briefly.

First off, truth in advertising: in addition to the meals I posted about, yesterday I also consumed: a bowl of collard greens; three ounces of cheese; two lowfat granola bars; two fig bars; and six prunes.

("Some people don't go for prunes ... I dunno ... I've always found that if they ..." :laugh: You didn't think I could make it through an entire blog without a single Zappa quote, did you? :laugh: )

Seriously--prunes are a vital part of my personal regimen, partly because my food plan calls for four servings of fruit a day, forcing me to admit to myself that I just don't like raw fruit quite that much to get in four a day, and most fruit juice is too sweet for my tastes. Yeah, I know I'm weird that way. So dried fruit works just as well for me. Plus prunes, well, have that classic effect on one's, erm, flow ... which I need ... um, 'nuff said, right?

Something else I wanted to comment on:

But the good news--besides the yumminess--is that the net amount of meat isn't all that much--but the size of the heads, and the amount of work you have to put into getting all the meat out, tricks the ol' Lizard Brain into feeling like it had a nice big meal.

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And fortunately, ol' Lizard Brain doesn't read the internet. :wink:

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For those who missed my previous rants about the Lizard Brain from my last couple of blogs, this article gives a nice succinct explanation. I especially like this key quote:

Have you ever wondered why you reach for that pile of hot greasy fries while you tell yourself you are on a diet? The answer is that you have three brains, and the older brains were wired to put on weight long ago when food was scarce. Your old brains are not easily controlled by your fancy new brain hardware that reads diet books.



#72 mizducky

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:21 PM

So, my day today: for very late breakfast I once again had a cup of plain yogurt, plus a couple of cups of coffee. I am fortunate that I grew up drinking my coffee black, no sweetener; when I get one of them thar gussied-up espresso drinks, I choose the nonfat milk and the sugar-free syrup. Yes, I know, I've become one of those people I used to make fun of. :rolleyes: But frankly, I'd rather save the fat and calorie allowance for something more interesting--this is how I can still get away with the occasional indulgence in pork belly, for instance. At least I'm still going full-caffeine.

Right now, despite my protestations about fresh fruit, I am eating a tangelo as a snack. I have to remind myself to eat at least a little fresh fruit every now and then.

Shortly, I'll be taking Mr. E to a weekly appointment, and then doing a little more food-galivanting around town with camera in hand. Oh yeah, and getting some lunch at another of my healthy-dining finds. See you all later...

#73 racheld

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 03:25 PM

That's one of the neatest things I've ever read. I've been wondering at all those references to Lizard Brain---I was beginning to think that I might lean more toward a Winnie The Pooh mental state.

I've learned a really interesting new thing each of the past two days.
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#74 llc45

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 03:54 PM


So, my day today: for very late breakfast I once again had a cup of plain yogurt, plus a couple of cups of coffee. I am fortunate that I grew up drinking my coffee black, no sweetener; when I get one of them thar gussied-up espresso drinks, I choose the nonfat milk and the sugar-free syrup. Yes, I know, I've become one of those people I used to make fun of. :rolleyes: But frankly, I'd rather save the fat and calorie allowance for something more interesting--this is how I can still get away with the occasional indulgence in pork belly, for instance. At least I'm still going full-caffeine.

Right now, despite my protestations about fresh fruit, I am eating a tangelo as a snack. I have to remind myself to eat at least a little fresh fruit every now and then.

Shortly, I'll be taking Mr. E to a weekly appointment, and then doing a little more food-galivanting around town with camera in hand. Oh yeah, and getting some lunch at another of my healthy-dining finds. See you all later...

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I struggle with this with fruit also. While they're are a number of fruits that I do eat, it is just not something I want to do on a daily basis. Apples are my favorite so I take five to work on Mon morning and make sure I have one every day. I am also addicted to the Fage yogurt and have found I actually don't mind mixing in mandarin oranges or low sugar diced peaches that I now keep in my desk. Two a day down, that was my accomplishment for last year.

Since berries mostly spoil before we get around to using them, I guess I have to start considering dried too. I just remember giving my elderly grandmother prunes all of the time and thinking they were gross. But, honestly, I haven't tried them so thanks for the blog - I am going to give them a try.

#75 Anna N

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 04:00 PM

Since berries mostly spoil before we get around to using them, I guess I have to start considering dried too.  I just remember giving my elderly grandmother prunes all of the time and thinking they were gross.  But, honestly, I haven't tried them so thanks for the blog - I am going to give them a try.

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I have been following along but didn't think there was very much I could contribute to this blog but.........

Try this: Find a clean, large mason jar, preferably a wide-mouth one. Sort through the berries gently to make sure there are no nasties in there BUT DO NOT WASH THEM. Carefully transfer them to the mason jar, put on the lid and screw band and put them on a shelf in the 'fridge. When you want some berries take out a serving, wash them and you are set. I am amazed how long berries stay fresh using this method. There is no need to vacuum seal the jar.
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#76 Smithy

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:08 PM

Sandy, I'm curious about some of your wording. If you've explained this before, I've missed it. You refer to the time that you were "sober". Now it appears you're drinking some alcohol, no doubt in moderation. Are you trying to imply that you aren't generally sober, or that one must be a teetotaller to be sober? Or am I misunderstanding something? In my experience, one who writes the way you do is probably sober at the time of writing.

My mother recently had to change her diet due to renal failure in combination with diabetes. It was startling to see how many of the foods formerly considered to be best for you (whole-grain breads, for instance) suddenly had to go. I'll be interested to see how you deal with the vegetable thing as the week goes on, and hoping to pick up more tips for her.

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#77 llc45

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:42 PM



Since berries mostly spoil before we get around to using them, I guess I have to start considering dried too.  I just remember giving my elderly grandmother prunes all of the time and thinking they were gross.  But, honestly, I haven't tried them so thanks for the blog - I am going to give them a try.

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I have been following along but didn't think there was very much I could contribute to this blog but.........

Try this: Find a clean, large mason jar, preferably a wide-mouth one. Sort through the berries gently to make sure there are no nasties in there BUT DO NOT WASH THEM. Carefully transfer them to the mason jar, put on the lid and screw band and put them on a shelf in the 'fridge. When you want some berries take out a serving, wash them and you are set. I am amazed how long berries stay fresh using this method. There is no need to vacuum seal the jar.

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Thank you - I will give it a try as soon as possible. The possibility that I no longer have to hear my husband say "these "insert berry name" are spoiled, why do you keep buying them when you don't ever eat them" has me doing a mental happy dance.

#78 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:44 PM

Hi All. Sorry I've been MIA most of the day. In addition to my cooking jobs, I also work for a Mystery Shopping company. Today I did 4 shops( all mattress stores) in London. I was able to get some grocery shopping done too( for myself and for the Senior meal on Thursday).



Before I left this morning, I had 2 servings of the same cereal I had yesterday( 4 points, 1 point of milk and 1 point of raisins). I felt a bit lightheaded about an hour later so I had a Kashi Go Lean protein bar(3 points). I'm a sucker for those red clearance stickers at Target.
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I didnt get home until well after 5pm and since my boys usually eat at noon, they were very anxious to eat.

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Every since the pet food scare, I've stopped buying commerical wet dog food. I give the boys a spoon of baby food along with a spoon of plain yogurt. They seem to enjoy it. Here you have Oliver and Harley. Oliver is the black and Tan. They're both Standard dachsunds. Harley is a wire-hair.

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I unloaded my groceries. I went to Food Basics and stocked up on fruit and veggies among other things.

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Did I mention that we have a brand new kitchen? There was a discussion in my kitchen reno thread regarding a TV in the kitchen. As you can see, I did buy one.

I knew I wanted to use the leftover brown rice from last night to make a dish called Rice Fried vegetables. Its from this month's issue of Vegetarian Times. I'm not a vegetarian, but we don't eat any red meat.
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I didnt have a few ingredients so I made some substitutions. It came out really well.


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I also picked up some Tilapia. I'd planned on using a recipe from A New Way To Cook, but when I read it again, I didnt have the majority of the ingredients. I reverted to an old standbye, Parmesan crusted Tilapia. I made a mixture of shredded parm, reduced sodium Old Bay, a few tbls of bread crumbs, 1 pat of butter, lemon juice and light mayo.

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I slathered the mixture on the fish and then broiled it.

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It came out really well and the entire meal was very filling. I had 1 piece of fish and Robin had 2. I figure about 3 points for a piece and 6 for the side dish.

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I'm actually feeling full.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I had a 6" turkey sub from Subway for lunch. I also had a bag of baked Lays. I think that meal has 9 points.

Edited by CaliPoutine, 08 January 2008 - 05:48 PM.


#79 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:58 PM


Since berries mostly spoil before we get around to using them, I guess I have to start considering dried too.  I just remember giving my elderly grandmother prunes all of the time and thinking they were gross.  But, honestly, I haven't tried them so thanks for the blog - I am going to give them a try.

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I have been following along but didn't think there was very much I could contribute to this blog but.........

Try this: Find a clean, large mason jar, preferably a wide-mouth one. Sort through the berries gently to make sure there are no nasties in there BUT DO NOT WASH THEM. Carefully transfer them to the mason jar, put on the lid and screw band and put them on a shelf in the 'fridge. When you want some berries take out a serving, wash them and you are set. I am amazed how long berries stay fresh using this method. There is no need to vacuum seal the jar.

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I'll have to try this too. Thanks Anna!!

#80 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:59 PM

Sandy,

You mention that your roomate can't eat sodium. I pulled out my Old Bay( both the regular and the reduced sodium). The first ingredient is Celery Salt. Is there a zero sodium Old Bay I'm missing?

#81 tamiam

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 06:01 PM

One could ask, Why is a confirmed cheesehead drinking lactose free milk? Truth to tell, I probably should be taking Lactaid tablets with my meals, for as the salad above should indicate, I still work cheese into a lot of my dishes, and I think I am somewhat lactose intolerant, as many African-Americans are. Perhaps I should just work less cheese into my dishes.


Sandy--I am lactose-intolerant as well, and, it took me a while, but after some serious research and study, I learned something both useful, and welcome (in a culinary sense). Dairy is largely made up of a sugar (lactose), fat, and protein.

OK--enough background. Here is the good part: The more fat there is in the dairy product, the less lactose there is.

In other words, a person with mild lactose-intolerance will be happier drinking cream than drinking (regular) lowfat milk. With cheeses, a good general rule is to stay away from whey products and the really fresh un-aged cheeses like ricotta. But lots of us can tolerate hi-fat triple cremes and hard aged cheeses just fine.

If you are going to be stuck with a food issue, it might as well be one that lets you eat cheese and whipped cream :biggrin:
Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther

#82 Peter the eater

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:15 PM

Randi, I forgot how beautiful your new counter tops are . . . and what on earth is a "Mystery Shopping company"?
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#83 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:22 PM

Randi, I forgot how beautiful your new counter tops are . . .  and what on earth is a "Mystery Shopping company"?

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Thanks Peter. I really love them.

Mystery shopping is a when you go into a store, pretending you're going to buy something. You evaluate the sales associates, store enviorment, etc. You write a report regarding the entire experience. Not too exciting actually. I'm still waiting to be assigned a restaurant.

#84 CaliPoutine

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:33 PM

After dinner( we didnt have anything for dessert). I prepped Robin's food for tomorrow.

Here is her snack. Its actually 1 pear cut up to fit both sides. I soaked the pear in some acidulated water first. I didnt buy those curve bars, they were a free sample sent to me by General Foods.

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Robin loves canned salmon. I can't stand it. I hate to even touch it. But, the things we do for love eh?

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I used a little lemon juice, light mayo and chopped italian parsely. Salmon is actually pretty high in points( 4 for 1/4 of the can). I probably gave her half a can. I also packed one of those whole wheat pita's I bought today( 3 points) and some lettuce.

I measured out her museli too for the morning. After she does the treadmill, I told her to add 1/2c of the yogurt and half a banana.


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Ok, folks, thats it for me. I'm going to finish watching The Biggest Loser Couple's. How appropriate eh?

#85 mizducky

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:37 PM

So here's what's been happening with me since last I posted:

I dropped Mr. E. off at another of his weekly appointments -- he does keep his calendar busy! As he'd be taking the bus home, I was now free for the rest of the afternoon. So I did errands and looked for bloggable photo-ops.

In the same shopping center as E.'s appointment is a Trader Joe's, so I dropped in to pick up more Crystal Geyser, and a couple other sundries:
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This TJ's is in the middle of Hillcrest, San Diego's "official" gayborhood, and also one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in town. Those demographics means this TJ's is absolutely mobbed at almost every hour of operation. I've gotten practiced at slipping in, grabbing what I need, and running away before I get run over by a shopping cart. Have I mentioned recently how much I hate shoppers blocking aisles with their carts while they stand there reading labels or yakking with friends or just woolgathering in the middle of everything? :laugh:

Anyway, one of the things I grabbed was this:
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Susan, you asked about hydration stuff. One of my hydration strategies is to always have some beverage I'm working on, all the time. Even if it's caffeinated and I piss half of it away, at least fluid intake is happening. I don't think any of the Hansen's natural sodas have caffeine, even the colas; the flavors are more interesting than most, and I taste less aftertaste from the Splenda than with other artificial sweeteners.

Then on to grab lunch at one of my favorite healthy-eating haunts:
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Veg'n'Out is yer basic classic hippy-dippy vegetarian burger joint. Yeah, yeah, I've heard all the various negative opinions about vegetarian foods that attempt to mimic carnivore food--that somehow it's cheating, that the imitations are pathetic, blah blah blah. But those naysayers have not endeavored to wrap their jaws around this beauty:
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Piled above and below the pretty convincing burger patty is cheese, lettuce, tomato, soy bacon strips, barbeque sauce, and fried onion rings. The creamy tarragon dressing on the side salad is very good. Other choices for sides include french fries, the salad du jour (today's was apple/potato), or soup. This burger isn't cheap at nearly nine bucks--but you get a lot for your money. I love being able to indulge in a big ol' sloppy burger, and with the caloric savings of having a soy patty instead of beef I can indulge myself a lot more often.

My little jar of Better than Bouillon was almost out, which gave me an photo-op excuse to drop by here:
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Henry's is a regional natural foods chain, and a good, more moderately-priced alternative to Whole Paycheck. Their produce offerings are extensive:
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They also have really good prices on nutritional supplements (omega-3 capsules and glucosamine tablets are an integral part of my health regimen--both help the osteoarthritis, and the omega-3s do all sorts of other good things for one's heart, nerves, and more).

I headed home, but found I had some time to kill before I needed to start supper ... so I decided to do something radical: go for a walk. :laugh:

(to be continued...)

#86 MarketStEl

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:59 PM

Sandy, I'm curious about some of your wording.  If you've explained this before, I've missed it.  You refer to the time that you were "sober".  Now it appears you're drinking some alcohol, no doubt in moderation.  Are you trying to imply that you aren't generally sober, or that one must be a teetotaller to be sober? Or am I misunderstanding something?  In my experience, one who writes the way you do is probably sober at the time of writing.

My mother recently had to change her diet due to renal failure in combination with diabetes.  It was startling to see how many of the foods formerly considered to be best for you (whole-grain breads, for instance) suddenly had to go.  I'll be interested to see how you deal with the vegetable thing as the week goes on, and hoping to pick up more tips for her.

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There is "sober" as commonly used, and "sober" as used by those in recovery.

Ordinarily, someone is "sober" whenever he or she is not displaying any signs of intoxication from alcohol consumption, even if he or she does at other times. When a recovering alcoholic uses the term, it means that he or she does not consume alcohol, period.

Even though I've never been a 12-stepper*, I've used the term in that sense to refer to the period when I abstained completely. I have been known to consume four mixed drinks in a two-hour period on Saturday nights, but otherwise, I don't drink much still.

*One of Philadelphia's oldest folk traditions is the annual Mummers Parade on New Year's Day. The event features elaborate, colorful costumes and handmade floats, marching bands composed entirely of string and reed instruments ("string bands") whose members wear fancy plumed backpieces, dance numbers worthy of a Broadway show -- again performed by elaborately costumed men and women -- and comic groups who either stage parody skits of current events or parade around in dresses and face paint; the last of these are all-male bands known as "wenches". One of the common dances wenches do as they strut up Broad Street is the two-step, and heavy drinking has a long pedigree among the comic wenches. So perhaps it's not surprising that, for the past decade or so, one comic club has a wench brigade known as the Twelve-Steppers. Needless to say, they march sober.

Sandy,

You mention that your roomate can't eat sodium.  I pulled out my Old Bay( both the regular and the reduced sodium).  The first ingredient is Celery Salt.  Is there a zero sodium Old Bay I'm missing?

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No, there isn't, and there's the rub. Actually, he hasn't cut out all the sodium from his diet, but he probably should. Salt substitute is also out, of course, because it contains potassium; I don't know whether salt-free seasoning blends have too much of the same problem ingredient in them -- and if those reduced-sodium soups are any guide, reading the nutrition data may not help me. I discovered this to my chagrin when roomie asked me to buy him some canned soup on my most recent grocery trip. I discovered by reading the Campbell's soup labels that many of their lower-sodium soups have a good deal of potassium in them, enough to keep them off the shopping list. Because our labeling laws do not require manufactures to list potassium content, I had no way of knowing whether the same was true for Progresso's lower-sodium soup; all I knew was that it had to had some, for potassium chloride was listed as an ingredient.

Sandy--I am lactose-intolerant as well, and, it took me a while, but after some serious research and study, I learned something both useful, and welcome (in a culinary sense).  Dairy is largely made up of a sugar (lactose), fat, and protein. 

OK--enough background.  Here is the good part:  The more fat there is in the dairy product, the less lactose there is. 

In other words, a person with mild lactose-intolerance will be happier drinking cream than drinking (regular) lowfat milk.  With cheeses, a good general rule is to stay away from whey products and the really fresh un-aged cheeses like ricotta. But lots of us can tolerate hi-fat triple cremes and hard aged cheeses just fine.

If you are going to be stuck with a food issue, it might as well be one that lets you eat cheese and whipped cream :biggrin:

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Well, well, well, whaddaya know! I really should avoid low-fat cheese and milk!

Not that I'd eat low-fat cheese anyway: divalasvegas is right -- low-fat cheese is an abomination. The only exception I have found to this rule is Cabot's light Cheddar, which is actually edible. Fat-phobes who have sworn off cheese (why?) might want to take note.
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen
My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

#87 mizducky

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:13 PM

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood--in the mid-50s, so a little chilly for my blood (I've lost all my New York/Boston/Seattle imperviousness to cold from barely six years of living in Southern California), but the sun is welcome after the drenching we got all last weekend:
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My neighborhood is not only eminently walkable, but studded with all sorts of points of interest for the foodie as well as the antiques-hound--Adams Ave. bears the nickname "Antique Row," as celebrated by this restaurant:
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This place does a land-office business for weekend brunch, but I've never tried it because I'm allergic to waiting in line to eat. :rolleyes:

This place has gotten a lot of good reviews, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet either--so many restaurants, so little time:
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I have tried this one--Cantina Mayahuel. My dining companion's mahi-mahi was wonderful, my chicken had a great sauce but was a little on the dry side:
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For everyday quick lunches, this place is more my speed:
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There's some sort of unspoken law that every Southern Californian must live within walking distance of a serviceable corner taco shop. :laugh: This one fills the bill quite nicely.

Oh, and then there's this market:
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Just look at that character-soaked facade! I just love this place's vibe. It's an old-school corner grocery--most of the stock is pretty basic, but lurking in the back is an awesome carniceria (Mexican-oriented butcher's counter) with some really good bargains.

Anyhow, time for my walk to be over, and for me to get home and start dinner.

(To be continued...)

#88 mizducky

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:35 PM

As I mentioned before, figuring out how to mesh my eating preferences with that of Mr. E has been a bit of an adventure, as he's very wary of any foods that stray too far from meat-and-potatoes middle-American fare--especially anything that might even possibly contain the slightest hint of spiciness. However, sometimes he surprises me. A few weeks ago he started talking enthusiastically about the Chinese restaurant he'd lunched at with a friend. Upon some probing, though, I discovered that the restaurant in question was a branch of Pickup Stix, a really mediocre fast food chain. :rolleyes: Right then I made a vow to myself that I'd at least try to turn him on to something better. And I pulled that off tonight, with a chicken/mushroom/bok choy stirfry, using the vegetables and one of the boneless skinless breasts I bought the other day, plus items from my stash of seasonings. I went really gentle on the seasonings, though--I think even ginger root would displease Mr. E if its presence were to get too assertive. So--a little bitty bit of ginger, garlic, shallots, light soy sauce, and sesame oil constituted the seasonings on this dish.

The mise en place, awaiting a ride in my wok (we will diplomatically ignore the dismal state of said wok's seasoning :laugh: ):
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Finished:
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Plated:
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And--hurrah! He liked it! In fact, he asked for seconds, and declared it one of my more pleasing efforts. Score! And since the whole dish contained just one chicken breast for the two of us, plus a whole bunch of veggies, my regimen was pleased too.

#89 MarketStEl

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:06 PM

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I did say I'd fill you in on my commute, didn't I?

It's similar in form to my previous one; in fact, it begins at the same station, and I catch the same Regional Rail train. However, I take it in the opposite direction:

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In my first foodblog, I gave you the history of Philadelphia's two other central railroad stations. Here's the one I missed: When it opened in 1984 as part of the Center City Commuter Connection (better known as the "Commuter Tunnel"), Market East Station bought 101 years of train service from the historic Reading Terminal above it to an end. The tunnel, which was named the Civil Engineering Achievement of the Year the year it opened, tied together the suburban services of the former Pennsylvania and Reading railroads, giving Philadelphia something only one other North American city (Toronto) and no other US city has: a single, unified regional rail network. I've actually had the occasion to ride a train all the way through the tunnel once, heading from Yardley to Swarthmore on the R3 West Trenton-Elwyn line.

And this time, there's no bus. My train trip to Yardley takes about 55 minutes.

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The gentleman in this photo works in the kitchen at Mil-Lee's Lunch, a restaurant a block north of my office that serves decent homestyle food. I imagine that this eatery is what Alice's Restaurant would look like now, and you can get just about anything you want there. Except that.

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From the station, I can either take the long way to the office, via South Main Street, following the kids who take the train to the Hebrew school at the top of the College Avenue hill:

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or I can take the shortcut to my end of the building, through the inbound parking lot:

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onto a quiet residential lane:

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then left onto a dead-end street and right onto the 17th tee at the Yardley Country Club.

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That's the maintenance building for my office through the trees in the far distance. You can also see a co-worker making his way to the building.

Taking the long route to my office takes about 10 minutes. The shortcut takes five. So far, I haven't deemed the extra calories I could burn worth the extra five minutes.

My lunch today began with last night's dinner:
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While I'm at it, is it just me, or does anyone else find Hellman's canola oil mayonnaise sweeter and/or a little more liquid than their regular variety?

The only other ingredients I added to this chicken salad were chopped celery and celery seed:

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and the result I ate during that online new hire orientation.

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I don't think I'm cutting calories or anything like that by buying canola mayo; I believe the main difference is that canola oil is higher in monounsaturated fats.

Okay, it's getting late again, and the talking heads are still going on about the New Hampshire primary. Locally, they were talking about the Second Coming -- oops, I mean the inauguration of Philadelphia's 98th mayor:

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and there were huge lines stretching around City Hall tonight -- half the city's population (or so it seemed) turned out to shake his hand at an open house he hosted.

But I'm getting off track and ahead of myself. When I get up, I'll get into the exercise portion of my week, such as it is for now.
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen
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#90 maggiethecat

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:20 PM

Hurrah indeed, Your Fab Duckiness! One tiny food revelation a week for Mr. E. I'm inspired that you, Randi and Sandy are taking the New Year's weight loss topic for the team, each in your different ways.

I'm also cheered and inspired that this is an out, Queer three-way discussion, because most of my weight-loss chat in the last year has involved a gay friend and my adored lesbian cousin. GF has been on one diet or another since I met him, and hasn't dropped a pound. (He has had a facelift and Lasix. His partner is a professional ballroom dancer who weighs, like, 83 pounds.) He was the first person who told me that anorexia wasn't the province of teenage girls -- that gay men bought into it too.

My gorgeous, talented cousin (who lives about fifty miles from Randi) was a plus-size model before she broke down and came out. 5'11" 180 best distributed pounds I've ever seen. Her partner was (and is) very large -- 5'8" 300. In the first year of their beautiful love affair, my cousin gained 100 pounds, and threw off all those society-based taboos about women and weight.

Two years later she lost a hundred pounds in a year and showed up at my daughter's wedding looking like the lipstick lesbian guys pant over. Then she had a baby and is a Big Girl post partum. She's back to Big is Fab and who cares about what men and society think? But she's told me, in private, that she hates it.

Down the rabbit hole -- it really does seem that the straight/gay world is topsy turvey about weight issues. Not that it matters, but I'd love to hear what you guys think.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

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